Burkhart’s bar closes; benefit shows planned for former performers

Following weeks of backlash over racist Facebook posts from an owner of Burkhart’s Pub, the LGBT and drag bar has closed.

The controversial posts from owner Palmer Marsh, including one that used a racial slur about former President Barack Obama, began circulating in mid-January. The bar’s performers quit in protest and the bar briefly closed, but reopened without entertainment a couple nights later.

On Jan. 29, co-owner Mary Marsh appeared to suggest on Facebook that the drag queens who walked out could find jobs at Walmart, and she would hire “younger slim pretty boys.” Then, in a Monday morning Facebook post, Mary Marsh wrote: “had to close the bar.” 

No one picked up the phone at Burkhart’s Tuesday evening, and the bar’s website is down. 

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The Ansley Square bar was a place for the LGBT community to gather in times of celebration and in mourning, for decades. 

Potential buyers, including former Jungle owner Richard Cherskov, have conveyed interest in purchasing the bar, but no new ownership has been announced. In the meantime, multiple benefit shows have been planned to help the bar’s former performers through the newly-formed activist group, Queens United

The first event will be held Friday at Park Tavern and another is planned for March 18 at Out Front Theatre Company.

The group is also raising funds through GoFundMe. The account has raised $870 of a $15,000 goal.  

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Previous coverage:

Threats of a boycott forced the bar to close its doors.

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